Based at the United Nations, the Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of more than 80 governments, companies, and international organizations working to accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments in order to boost financial inclusion. As the adoption of digital payments has accelerated rapidly in recent years, the Alliance developed the UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments to ensure digital payments are implemented fairly and reliably.
With the goal to become an industry benchmark and resource for a range of members, the UN Principles needed an identity of their own that was instantly recognizable across media, while connecting to the Alliance brand that we had previously developed, and building on the trust of the UN.
While the Alliance brand system usually features photography of their members’ programs to showcase impact and share real-life examples, we recognized that the UN Principles had a broader more future-oriented vision that could be better represented through custom illustration. This would allow for the depiction of ideal responsible digital payments ecosystems — vibrant and inclusive scenes of individuals engaged in earning, spending, and saving – while providing a recognizable brand across publications, social media channels, events, and more.
Putting the nine key principles front and center in promotions, we collaborated with illustrator Hanna Barczyk to create custom artwork for each, communicating key concepts like “Treat users fairly,” “Safeguard client data,” and “Prioritize women” in memorable visuals. These illustrations were the visual hallmark of the project, concisely communicating the ideas while leveraging the Alliance color palette for brand recognition. Animation brought the illustrations to life for use on the website and social media, as well as in videos.
Since its launch, audience engagement with the UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments has remained active, and its guidance has been endorsed and shared by UN and government leaders throughout the world, with the Queen of the Netherlands calling them a “powerful tool.”